Meet the WSAJ Staff
The WSAJ staff takes pleasure in responding to the needs of our members.
We can be reached by phone or email.
Executive Office & Administration
As executive director of the Washington State Association for Justice, Liz Berry brings a lifelong connection to the trial bar and a history of fighting to empower people. She is also a seasoned political operative and an advocate for women in leadership.
Berry is committed to building on WSAJ’s reputation as one of the nation’s most respected legal watchdogs—protecting access to the civil justice system for consumers and injured citizens. She took over as WSAJ’s executive director in June 2016, previously serving WSAJ as Associate Director of Government Affairs and Communications.
Berry has brought a new vision for the organization to ensure it’s relevant to both WSAJ’s rising-star talents and legends. Her vision is simple: expanding WSAJ’s innovative offerings through education, networking and advocacy is paramount to ensuring WSAJ remains relevant to its 2,400 plaintiff injury attorneys in the region. Recruiting the next generation of WSAJ trial lawyers is her top priority.
She has expanded WSAJ’s reach and availability through smart technology, online platforms and social media. Under Berry’s leadership, EAGLE membership has grown to its largest size in history. EAGLEs support WSAJ’s government and public affairs efforts that protect consumer access to the state’s civil justice system. WSAJ’s business sponsorship revenue has more than doubled during her tenure.
She launched WSAJ’s Trial Advocacy Summer Fellowship Program for second-year law students in a targeted effort to recruit the next generation of WSAJ EAGLE members and plaintiff attorney talent for the Northwest region.
Berry is no stranger to political campaigns and big battles. Prior to WSAJ, she managed three separate campaigns here in Washington state. She is the former Legislative Director to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ.
Berry has served on the boards of numerous organizations dedicated to recruiting women into leadership positions including Women Under 40 PAC, Women’s Funding Alliance and the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington. As the former president of the NWPC-WA, Berry injected new energy and ideas to recruit and engage younger women and women of color. During her presidency, she doubled membership, tripled Political Action Committee (PAC) fundraising and recruited a new board that reflected the next generation of women in politics.
She is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC, where she studied communications, legal institutions, economics and government. She and her husband Michael Hill live in Queen Anne with their son George.
Suone Cotner has served as deputy director for the Washington State Association for Justice since 2008. She previously worked as WSAJ’s development director beginning in 1997. She brings a lifetime of national and state political and fundraising experience to her work.
Cotner is responsible for managing and growing WSAJ’s prestigious EAGLE program and WSAJ Foundation. In order to safeguard our civil justice system, WSAJ relies on the support and leadership of member attorneys and legal professionals. The EAGLE program sustains WSAJ’s powerful government affairs program that educates the Washington State Legislature and Washington’s congressional delegation on civil justice issues. The Amicus program, supported by the WSAJ Foundation, ensures that WSAJ’s voice in the courts delivers a legacy.
In 2006, WSAJ honored Cotner with its Alvin Anderson Award for her critical role in raising $6.8 million to defeat an anti-consumer measure (I-330) that hurt injured patients.
She is a senior advisor to all of WSAJ’s political work.
Prior to working for the Association, Cotner was president of the Mt. Baker Group, a fundraising and public affairs consulting company. Her clients included congressional and state candidates, trade associations, and non-profit organizations throughout the United States. As a professional development director, she routinely trains and advises progressive organizations on fundraising strategies.
She served as a top aide, lobbyist and strategist in Washington, DC, for more than a decade. She later launched her own public affairs consulting firm, the Mt. Baker Group, here in Washington state before coming to WSAJ. She is the former executive director of ERAmerica, a national coalition of organizations working to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
She currently serves as a board member for Fuse Washington, one of the state's largest progressive organizations. She remains politically active, volunteering for various groups active in advocating for civil justice and women’s issues.
Cotner lives with her husband, Tim Cottrell in Seattle. When she is not working, you might spot her on a sailboat, travelling to Europe as an amateur wine taster or enjoying the view out of her cabin on Hood Canal.
Government Affairs Director
Larry Shannon is the government affairs director for the Washington State Association for Justice, since 1994. He oversees WSAJ’s state and federal legislative, electoral, and public affairs priorities. Shannon has helped WSAJ’s 2,400-member attorneys build WSAJ into one of the nation’s leading justice advocacy organizations.
As a respected thought leader and ally for legal and consumer protection advocacy programs throughout the U.S., Shannon enlists WSAJ members who are among the region’s top law firms and attorneys to help shape WSAJ’s legislative priorities. In 2005, he was recognized by Washington Law and Politics magazine as one of the top five lobbyists in the state. He has written numerous articles for consumer and political magazines addressing legal, political and consumer issues.
Shannon has been a top strategic advisor to the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and state justice organizations nationally. In 2014, he received the prestigious AAJ Partner of the Year Award for his vigorous advocacy for AAJ and the civil justice system. When he is not representing WSAJ before the Washington State Legislature, Shannon travels throughout the state to meet with WSAJ’s prestigious EAGLE members who are responsible for sustaining WSAJ’s highly regarded government affairs program.
Shannon formerly served as WSAJ’s development director and public affairs director. He spent six years working in the consumer protection division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office. He has served as special liaison to the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors from 1994 to 1998. He is a board member of Washington Community Action Network, Washington CAN, the largest consumer organization in the state, and is also involved in numerous community groups.
A native of the Seattle area, he graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in political science and history. He lives in Seattle with his wife Jan Simonds. They have three grown children.
Shannon is an avid coach and advocate for youth sports. He is president and founder of the Ballard American Legion athletic program. When he’s not working on his cabins on Indianola, Shannon can be found in a coffee shop schooling friends and colleagues on the merits of case law, history, basketball and baseball. In fact, when it comes to coffee and lively conversation, Shannon is a lot like baseball. There are no limits. There are only innings.
Member Services Director
Sara Crumb brings more than two decades of legal and public affairs experience to her role as WSAJ’s Member Services Director. Since September 2016, Crumb has been responsible for recruiting new members to WSAJ’s 2,400-member organization while helping to curate a coveted suite of premium member services.
Crumb’s public affairs experience is steeped in public policy from Olympia to DC’s Capitol Hill. Her unique public affairs background ensure our members have one of the strongest advocates for WSAJ’s prestigious EAGLE program, our top membership credited for protecting Washington’s civil justice system. Whether she is helping new attorneys build out their practice or seasoned attorneys carve out important case law, Crumb’s deep understanding of emerging public policy and the law make her a standout on the WSAJ team.
Prior to her role as member services director, Crumb served in top leadership positions under Washington state’s most respected congressional delegations. For two years, she served U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s as her state director. She spent more than a decade in leadership roles for U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks and WSAJ’s public affairs team. She also served two years as a law clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Washington in Spokane.
Crumb is a graduate of Gonzaga University of School of Law in Spokane and holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington. She has been a member of the Washington State Bar Association since 2003.
Seattle Office Receptionist
Website & Systems Administrator
CLE Associate Director
Spokane Office Manager
Government Affairs Counsel
Member Services Associate
Development Administrator & Accounts Receivable